Public Population Project in Genomics

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P3G (Public Population Project in Genomics)
Public Population Project in Genomics.JPG
Formation 2004
Purpose population genetics
Headquarters at the University of Montreal (Canada)
Official language

P3G (Public Population Project in Genomics) is a not-for-profit international consortium dedicated to facilitating collaboration between researchers and biobanks working in the area of human population genomics.[1] P3G is member-based and composed of experts from the different disciplines in the areas of and related to genomics, including epidemiology, law, ethics, technology, biomolecular science, etc. P3G and its members are committed to a philosophy of information sharing with the goal of supporting researchers working in areas that will improve the health of people around the world.

The Organization[edit]

P3G is a Non-profit organization with members from over 40 countries. Membership falls under three different categories: Charter, Associate and Individual. Charter members have the right to elect and vote the board of directors of P³G, and all members are eligible for office.[2]

P3G is headquartered in the Université de Montréal, Quebec (Canada)

Scientific Activities[edit]


P3G works with its members and other experts to develop tools, methods and resources designed to optimize and harmonize the infrastructures of biobanks and research projects in the areas of population genomics, epidemiology and the environment. All knowledge and information is shared for free with the scientific community through the P3G Observatory site.


In addition, P3G bring its members together at meetings in different cities around the world. These gatherings provide members with a unique opportunity to identify and address the challenges the community faces, share innovative strategies and work on new research tools. P3G Meetings have been held (or will be held) in the following cities:[3]

  • Montreal (Canada) April 2010
  • Luxembourg September 2009
  • Brussels (Belgium) March 2009
  • Philadelphia (USA) November 2008
  • Barcelona (Spain) May 2008
  • San Diego (USA) October 2007
  • Montreal (Canada) May 2007
  • 4th DNA sampling conference: "Genomics and public health"
  • Salt Lake City, Utah (USA) October 2005
  • Hinxton (UK) September 2005
  • Helsinki (Finland) and Tallinn (Estonia) 2004
  • Manchester (UK) 2003
  • Montreal (Canada) July 2003

International Working Groups[edit]

P3G has four international interdisciplinary working groups focussed on scientific development in areas of Social, Environmental and Biochemical Investigations, Information Curation and Information Technology, Ethics, Governance and Public Engagement, and Epidemiology and Biostatistics. These groups conduct research on their areas and deliver their results to members at P3G meetings. The results are then posted online at the P3G website to ensure broad distribution and open access to the learnings.


In addition to organizing regular member meetings and various working group meetings, P3G runs a special biobank summer school in conjunction with WellcomeTrust.

P3G Observatory[edit]

The P3G Observatory provides online access to information and scientific tools for the purposes of facilitating and promoting development and achievement in the harmonization of research. The Observatory website is composed of abroad variety of tools and resources, many of which can be found in three major sections.

  • 1. The Catalogues section lists all the major biobanks working on population studies with brief overviews describing the similarities and differences between them, thus providing information for users to identify potential collaborations.

This section also hosts catalogues built especially for certain P3G Partners who benefit from the Catalogues structure in describing their member studies.

  • 2. The Repository of Information and Tools provides access to scientific and technological information related to the various areas of biobanking activities.
  • 3. The DataSHaPER[4] (Data Schema and Harmonization Platform for Epidemiological Research) section provides and describes a scientific approach as well as a suite of practical materials. As a tool, it may be used (among other possibilities) to:
    • Facilitate prospective harmonization of emerging biobanks by providing DataSchemas that identify and describe thematic sets of core variables and which are of particular value within a specified scientific setting;
    • The DataSchemas developed through the DataSHaPER environment could be implemented in some OBiBa software. OBiBa are a P3G core project whose mission is to develop high quality open source software for biobanks;
    • Provide a template for retrospective data-pooling;
    • Support the development of questionnaires and protocols by giving access to reference questionnaires and operating procedures that have been selected or developed to reliably generate the variables in the DataSchema.

The P3G Observatory site is completely free and accessible, and all documents, web sites and tools included on the site are non-commercial and open source. Overviews of the research projects being undertaken by P3G members are posted in the Cores section of the Observatory and results of their research are published online in the P3G Publications section. The P3G Observatory Website address is

Finance and History[edit]

P3G was incorporated in 2004 under the leadership of Bartha Knoppers and Dr. Thomas Hudson, and was established by and for researchers working in the area of population genetics. P3G is funded by Genome Quebec and Genome Canada.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ European Journal of Human Genetics (2008) 16, 664–665; doi:10.1038/ejhg.2008.55; published online 2 April 2008 Population Genomics: The Public Population Project in Genomics (P3G): a proof of concept?
  2. ^ "Website of P3G's Secretariat". 
  3. ^ "Meetings of P3G's members on the Website of P3G's secretariat". 
  4. ^ "DataSHaPER Website". 
  5. ^ Genome Canada, Genome Quebec and Université de Montreal Launch P3G Consortium and CARTaGENE Project

External links[edit]